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News Nation

News/Business. Tamron Hall. Tamron Hall provides context and informed perspectives on the stories making headlines. New.

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Libya 13, Us 8, North Africa 6, Chris Stevens 5, U.s. 5, Tripoli 5, Algeria 5, Madam 4, Afghanistan 4, Mr. Engle 3, Christopher Stevens 3, Gadhafi 3, United States 3, Stevens 3, Pickering 3, Clinton 3, Burns 2, Turkey 2, Kenya 2, Shawn Smith 2,
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  MSNBC    News Nation    News/Business. Tamron Hall. Tamron Hall provides context and  
   informed perspectives on the stories making headlines. New.  

    January 23, 2013
    11:00 - 12:00pm PST  

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ya. alright, another one just like that. right in the old bucket. good toss! see that's much better! that was good. you had your shoulder pointed, you kept your eyes on your target. let's do it again -- watch me. just like that one... [ male announcer ] the durability of the volkswagen passat. pass down something he will be grateful for. good arm. that's the power of german engineering. ♪ back to you.
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>> per i'm tamron hall. the "news nation" is following round two. secretary of state hillary clinton any minute expected to testify at her second hearing of the day to the attack on the u.s. consulate in bengazi. earlier the secretary took on republican members of the senate foreign relations committee for more than two hours, standing her ground and at times getting emotional. >> and we were misled that there were supposedly protests and something sprang out of that. that was easily ascertained that was not the fact. the american people could have known that within days and they didn't. >> worry all due respect the fact is we have four dead americans. was it because of a protest or guys out for a walk decided they would go kill americans? what difference at this point does it make? it is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator.
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>> i have been president at the time and i found that you did not read the cables from benghazi. you did not read the cables from stevens. i would have relieved you of your post. it was inexcusable you did not know this. by anybody's estimation, libya has to have been the hottest of hot spots around the world. not to know of the request for securities? really i think it cost people their lives. their lives could have been saved had someone been more available and had someone been aware of the things and more on top of the job. my question is, is the u.s. involved with any procuring of weapons, transfer of weapons, buying, selling, anyhow transferring weapons to turkey out of libya? >> to turkey? i will have to take that question for the record. nobody ever raised that with me. >> with respect to personnel,
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senator, first that's why we have independent people who review the situation as we did with the pickering and mullen and all four individuals identified had been removed from their job. secondly they have been placed on administrative leave while we step through the process to determine the next steps. >> the answer is frankly that you have given this morning are mot satisfactory to me. the american people deserve to know answers and they don't deserve false answers. >> senator, i understand your very, very strong feelings. you knew chris and you were a friend of the chris and you were one of the staunchest supporters of the efforts to dislodge gadhafi and try to give the libyan people a chance. we just have a disagreement. we have a disagreement about
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what did happen and when it happened with respect to explaining the sequence of events. >> again, that was earlier today and right now the house committee on foreign affairs starting with chairman edward royce of california. let's listen in. >> the state department must learn from its mistakes to protect employees, many of whom serve in hostile environments. unfortunately threats to americans abroad are growing. particularly those threats are growing in north africa. the attacks last week in algeria again show the nature of the danger. i support having a wide diplomatic presence. we can't retreat. as you recognized in your testimony. but it has to be done with the safety of our personnel foremost in mind. this committee intends to work
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with with your department in a bipartisan way to improve security. every organization has shortcomings. few welcome them being highlighted. it's this committee's job to get answers to the tough questions. our goal is to identify where state department management broke down, thus failing to protect our people in benghazi. it is clear that the problem was not confined to a few individuals. the accountability review board convened by you, madam secretary, found "systemic failure in leadership in management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the state department. according to the board, these systemic failures led to the grossly inadequate security in libya. the benghazi compound was facing a storm of militancy and a flood
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of weapons, and facing a deteriorating security environment. attacks were escalating on the compound, yet the compound was inexplicably forced to rely on unarmed libyan guards and a militia that included extremist elements. no wonder the board found a realization that security was not a high priority for washington. according to the report. the board found that responsibility stopped at the assistant secretary level below the department's most senior manage. this seems to contrast with the recommendation of the 1990, 1999 review board on the east africa bombings that said the secretary of state should take a personal and active role in security issues. this committee is concerned that the department's most senior officials either should have known about the worsening
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security situation in benghazi or did know something about that security situation. either way, the point is that security requests were denied. i'm not sure the board here saw the full picture. if not, its report is not a complete blueprint for fixing things. the state department must get this right. al qaeda and affiliates will very likely be targeting other diplomats for years to come. madam secretary, the committee stands ready to help. i learned that you anded administration proposed legislation to fix the review board which the committee looks forward to considering. today's discussion may turn to funding, but when reading the conclusions of the board, one
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must ask, how more money would have made a difference in a bureaucracy plagued by what the board called systemic failures. after all as the security situation in libya worsened, the state department turned away free security assets from the department of defense. state department officials have testified that funding was not an issue. more resources may have been needed in some areas, but the tragedy of benghazi was rooted in bad decisions. finally the benghazi perpetrators must be ap handed or they must be killed. it's troubling that tunisia recently released a key suspect. poor libyan cooperation hampered the fbi's investigation. success here is a matter of justice. and it's also a matter of signalling to militants that there is no place for them to hide if they attack u.s.
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personnel. i will now turn to the distinguished ranking member, mr. engle for his opening remarks. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman for holding this important meeting. i hope we can use this as an opportunity to seriously examine the steps we need to take to prevent a repeat of the tragedy in benghazi rather than engaging in gotcha politics that make it more difficult to achieve this bipartisan goal. as the new rinking member, let me say on behalf of this committee, we would like to welcome you back and glad you are feeling better. this will likely be your final appearance before our committee and i want to take the opportunity to let you know how much we appreciate your outstanding and tireless efforts to represent our country in the international community. i have no doubt you will continue to serve our nation in some capacity as you have for so many years and i look forward to working with you in the future
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and might i add as a new yorker i feel especially proud of the wonderful and outstanding job you have done as secretary of state. i think when we look at the outstanding secretary of states in our history of our country, you will be right up there at the very, very top. the way you worked and the tireless effort you had crisscrossing the globe so many times, you have just been indispensable to all of us as americans and i want to thank you personally on behalf of all the democrats and all americans. democrats and republicans. we want to thank you. mr. chairman, the committee has no greater responsibility than making sure that the men and women of the state department and u.s. aid and other servants are provided the security they deserve. we must do what we can to minimize the threats faced by diplomats and aid workers and recognize that some risk is
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inherent in the practice of effective diplomacy. we cannot advance america's interest as we isolate each other or limit the deployment to low risk environments. let's not learn the wrong lesson from today's hearing. the accountability review board or orb convened by secretary clinton found a number of failures from a lack of leadership in two bureaus as well as local security in benghazi. clearly mistakes were made. let's be clear. barack obama was not responsible for the benghazi attack any more than george w. bush was responsible for the 9/11 attacks or ronald reagan was responsible for the attacks on our marine barracks in beirut that killed over 200 marines. whether it was called a terrorist attack or not, in the immediate aftermath as far as i'm concerned is irrelevant. we have to make sure it never happens again so that in the
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future our people are protected. that's what i want to get out of all of this. madam secretary, we commend you for accepting the recommendations and welcome your commitment to implement them by the time you leave the department. even before they committed conclusio conclusions, they moved to address shortcomings through increased security proposal. the vast majority for the proposal come from funds previously appropriated for lower priority programs. i hope congress will move without delay to glif the transfer authority it needs to start applying these changes. it is important to remember security is not a one off endeavor. it's a long-term responsibility and investment. in that context, the members led by ambassador pickering and admiral mullen highlights the struggle to get the resources it needs. the ongoing problem led to the
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culture are where they are more interested in conserving resources than in achieving the goals. they said "the solution requires a more serious and sustained commitment from congress to support state department needs." regrettably it's leer that congress is failing to meet this commitment. the most recent state department funding bill approved by the house appropriations committee and the administration's request are for embassy security and construction and maintenance was cut by $112 million and worldwide protection reduced by $149 million. the senate did not cut either account. so let me reiterate what i said about congress's responsibility over the past two years alone. the administration's request for diplomatic funding has been slashed by more than half a billion dollars in congress. this makes it impossible for the state department to build enough
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new secure facilities or improve those that exist. the current bill for fiscal 2013 continue this is negative trend. they reported out of the house a appropriations committee for protection and embassy security construction and maintenance by more than $260 million. the senate a proep ppropriation committee had much less. we have much work to do for ourselves if we want to maintain a global reach. we need to maintain and safeguard our personnel who serve in dangerous environments. mr. chairman, you indicated your intention to work on a state department authorization bill and i would like to work with you in a bipartisan manner to craft legislation that improves the ability to manage the resources and provide the funding necessary to secure our people and facilities globally. i thank you and i look forward to the secretary's testimony.
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>> thank you, mr. engle. to help us understand the response to the ben gassy attack, we are joined by hillary rodham clinton, the 67th secretary of state. she had a long career in public service and for the past four years, secretary clinton served as president obama's secretary of state and will soon move on to the next chapter in her distinguished career. madam secretary, without objection, your full statement will be made part of the record and all members will have five days to submit statements and questions for the record subject to the limitations of the committee rules. madam secretary, please begin. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i thank you and the ranking member and members of the committee, both of long standing tenure and brand-new members. i appreciate your patience for me to be able to come to fulfill
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my commitment to you. actually to the former chair woman. that i would be here to discuss the attack in benghazi. i appreciate this opportunity. i will submit my full testimony for the record. i want to make a few points. first, the terrorist attacks in benghazi that claimed the lives of four brave americans. chris stevens, shawn smith and ben doherty and our partners and north africa. it's important we understand the context for this challenge. as we working to to protect our people and honor our fallen colleagues. any clear-eyed examination of this matter must begin with this sobering fact. since 1988, there have been 19 accountability review boards investigating attacks on american diplomats and
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facilities. since 1977, 65 american diplomatic personnel have been killed by terrorists. in addition those who have been killed, we know what happened in tehran with hostages being taken in 1979 and the embassy and marine barracks bombed? 1983. our embassies in east africa in 1998 and staff mored in jetta, saudi arabia in 2004 and the coast attack in afghanistan in 2009 and too many others. but i also want to stress the list of attacks that were foiled, crisis avert and lives saved is even longer. we should never forget that the professionals get it right more than 99% of the time because the terrorists only need to get it
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right once. like all my predecessors, i trust the diplomatic professionals with my life. let's also remember that as the chairman and the ranking member pointed out, administrations of both parties in partnership with congress have made concerted and good faith efforts to learn from the tragedies that have occurred to implement recommendations from the review boards to seek the necessary resources to better protect our people and in a constantly evolving threat environment. in fact, of the 19 accountability review boards that have been held since 1988, only two have been made public. i want to stress that because the two that have been made public coming out of the east africa embassy bombings and this one, our attempts by the state department, by the secretary,
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secretary all bright and myself to be as transparent and open as possible. we wanted to be sure that whatever these independent nonpartisan boards found would be made available to the congress and to the american people. as i said many times, i take responsibility and nobody is more committed to getting it right. i am determined to lead the state department and the country safer, stronger, and more secure. taking responsibility meant not only moving quickly in those first uncertain hours and days to respond to the immediate crisis, but also to make sure we were protecting our people and posts in high threat areas across the region and the world. it also meant launching an empty investigation to determine exactly what happened in benghazi and recommend steps for improvement. it also meant intensifying our
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efforts to combat terrorism and support emerging democracies in north africa and beyond. let me share the lessons we have learned up until now. first, let's start on the night of september 11 itself and the difficult early days. i directed and stayed in close contact with officials from across the government and the libyan government. i did see what the ambassador and the chairman called timely and exceptional coordination. no delays in decision making and no denials of support from washington or the military. i want to echo the praise for the valor and courage of the people on the ground, especially security professionals in benghazi and tripoli. the board said our response saved lives in realtime and it did. the very next morning, i told the american people and i quote,
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heavily armed militants assaulted the compound and vowed to bring them to justice. i stood later that day with president obama as he spoke of an act of terror. you may recall at the same time period we were also seeing violent attacks on our embassies in cairo, tunas as well as large protests outside many other posts from india to indonesia where thousands of our diplomats serve. i ordered a review of the security posture around the world with particular scrutiny for high threat posts. i asked the department of defense to join inner agency security assessment teams and dispatch hundreds of additional marine security guards. i named the first deputy assistant secretary of state for high threat posts so that meigs get the attention they need and we reached out to congress to help address physical
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vulnerabilities including risks from fire and to hire additional personnel and marine security guards. second, even as i took the steps, i quickly moved to appoint the review board because i wanted them to come forward with their report before i left. i felt the responsibility and i wanted to be sure i was putting in motion the response to whatever they found. what was wrong, how do we fix it. i accepted every one of the recommendations. our deputy secretary for management and resources, deputy tom who appeared before the committee last month is leading a task force to ensures all 29 are implemented quickly and completely as well as pursuing additional steps above and beyond the board. i pledged in my letter to you last month that implementation has begun on all 29 recommendations and we translated them into 64 specific
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action items and they were all assigned to specific bureaus and offices with clear timelines for completion, fully 85% are on track to be completed by the end of march with a number completed already. we are also taking a top to bottom look to rethink how we make decisions on where, when, and whether our people should operate in high threat areas and how we respond. we are initiating an annual high threat post review, shared for the first time in american history, i suppose, by the secretary of state. ongoing reviews to make sure pivotal questions about security reach the highest level and we will regularize protocols for sharing information with congress. in addition to the action we took and the review board process, we are moving on a third front. addressing the broader strategic challenge for north africa and the wider region.
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benghazi did not happen in a vacuum. the arab revolutions have scrambled dynamics and shattered forces across the region. instability in mali created an expanding safe haven for terrorists and look to extend their influence and plot further attacks like the kind we saw in algeria. let me offer our deepest condolences to the families of the americans killed and injured in the algerian hostage crisis. we remain in close touch with the government of algeria, ready to provide assistance if needed and seeking to gain a fuller understanding of what took place so we can working to to prevent such terrorist attacks in the future. concerns about terrorism and instability in north africa are not new of course. indeed they have been a top priority for this entire national security team. but we need to work together to accelerate a diplomatic campaign
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and increase pressure on al qaeda and the islamic and other terrorist groups in the region. i conferred with the president of libya and foreign minsters and prime minister of tunisia and morocco two weeks after the attack, i met with a large group of regional leaders at the un and part of a special meeting focused on mali. in october, i flew to algeria to discuss the fight. in november i sent the deputy secretary bill burns on an inner agency group to algeria to continue that conversation and then in my stead, he cochaired the counter terrorism form held in abu daby and working not only on building new democracies, but reforming security services. these are just a few of the constant engagements that we are having focused on targeting al
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qaeda's syndicate of terror. closing safe havens and countering extremist ideology and slowing the flow of new recruitings women hunt the terrorist responsible for the attacks in benghazi and determined to bring them to justice and we are using diplomatic and economic tools to support the emerging democracies including libya in order to give them the strength to provide a path away from extremism. finally, the united states must continue to lead. in the mideast, in north africa and around the globe. we have come a long way in the past four years and cannot afford to retreat now. when america is absent, especially from unstable environments, there consequences. extremism takes root and our security at home is threatened. that's why chris stevens went to benghazi in the first place. i asked him to go. during the beginning of the
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revolution against gadhafi, we needed somebody in benghazi who could begin to build bridges with the insurgents and to begin to demonstrate that america would stand against gadhafi. nobody knew the dangers or the opportunities better than chris. first during the revolution, then during the transition. a weak libyan government and militias and terrorist groups, a bomb exploded in the parking lot of his hotel. he never wavered. he never asked to come home. he never said let's shut it down, quit, and go somewhere else. he understood it was critical for america to be represented in that place at that pivotal time. mr. chairman, we do have to work harder and better to balance the risks and the opportunities. our men and women who serve overseas understand that we do
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accept a level of risk to represent and protect the country we love. they represent the best traditions of a bold and generous nation. they cannot work in bunkers and do their jobs. it is our responsibility to make sure they have the resources they need to do those jobs and do everything we can to reduce the risks they face. for me, this is not just a matter of policy, it's personal because i had the great honor to lead the men and women of the state department and u.s. aide. nearly 70,000 serving and 275 posts around the world. they get-up-and-go to work every day, often in difficult and dangerous circumstances thousands of miles from home. they believe the united states is the most extraordinary force for peace and progress the earth has ever known. when we suffer tragedies
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overseas, the number of americans applying to the foreign service actually increases. that tells us everything we need to know about the kind of patriots i'm talking about. they ask what they can do for their country and america is stronger for it. today after four years in this job traveling nearly a million miles and visiting 112 countries, my faith in our country and future is stronger than ever. every time that blue and white airplane carrying the words united states of america touches down in some far off capital, i feel again the honor it is to represent the world's indispensable nation. i am confident that with your help we will continue to keep the united states safe, strong, and exceptional. i would be very happy to answer your questions. >> thank you, madam secretary. i think our state department personnel do certainly accept a level of risk and they do so in
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order as you have said quite properly to continue to lead. we recognize that hindsight is 20-20. with regard to the benghazi attacks, what is probably most disturbing as the question comes before the committee and as the media looks at the situation, the dots were connected ahead of time. the state department saw this coming. the state department didn't act in order to prevent what could have been handled probably by answering the request by our personnel. if we look at the e-mail exchange on top officials, written right after the assassination attempt on the ambassador in june of 2012, here's the exchange.
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this is very concerning when you start putting the events together. the attack on the compound and the uk motorcade attack. if the tide is turning and they are now looking for americans and westerners to attack, that is a game changer. we are not staffed or resourced adequately to protect our people in that type of environment. we are a soft target. so here's the point. senior officials fully appreciated the grave threats in benghazi. they knew that al qaeda was there and security was withdrawing mobile security detachment teams. they sent packing a special team
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that the defense department provided. they provided it at no cost. if senior officials knew that our diplomats weren't save and adequately staffed. why did they continue to withdraw security. that's the first question. in testimony this morning, you said you never saw those requests. i understand that. last month though, deputy secretary burns testified that the memo regarding the security situation did make their way to the seventh floor. what senior official was he referring to when he talks about top management there. who in the senior management was responsible for responding to those requests coming from the field. that would be my question. >> there is a lot of important
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questions in that, mr. chairman. let me begin by saying i was aware of certain incidents at our facility and the attack on the british diplomat. i was briefed on steps taken to repair the brief breech after the june bombing and to reduce off compound movements. our team led by security professionals and intelligence and others did not recommend based on those incidents abandoning benghazi. in part because over the last years and in pakistan and iraq and afghanistan and yemen and elsewhere. we rely on proprofessionals to implement the protocols to keep our people safe and as i said i have a lot of confidence in them and most of the time they get it right.
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i was also engaged and think this is what deputy secretary burns was referring to. in the issues related to the deteriorating threat environment, particularly in libya. we were also watching to try to see what we could do to support the libyan government to improve the overall stability of their country to deal with the many militias. we have many programs and actions we were working on. i had a number of conversations with leading libyan officials. i went to libya in october of 2011 and in fact shortly before the attack on benghazi, we approved libya for substantial funding from a joint dod could for border security ct capabilities and wmd efforts. i wanted to clarify that there were specific instances and
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assessments going on primarily by the security professionals related to individual posts including benghazi. >> what i saw indicated that in fact those assets like the security cite team were pulled. you had free of cost here from the department of defense, a team in place and about august 15th, some weeks before the attack, the question is can we extend that security team and the answer is no, it would be embarrassing to our agency if that agency is providing the protection. that struck me as a little bit of the problem we had before between the cia and fbi between two agencies that were more focused perhaps on the rivalry than they were on providing the security. they were full circle and now
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based on the literal reading of the memos, here you had the requests so that's my question. okay, they didn't come to the conclusion that we should increase security, but what about the question of having the security with drawn august 15th in terms of the security cite team provided the by the department of defense. >> i'm glad you raised this. it looked into everything and does note discuss the sst or recommend that our personnel on the ground should have asked for the continued deployment and i think that's in part because the sst was based in tripoli. it hardly ever, less than 2% of the entire time it was in libya did it even go to benghazi. its responsibilities which were about the citing of and security of the embassy were focused on tripoli. it was not an open ended arrangement as it has been
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understood. it was intend as a measure and the experts who were there played vital roles. they were communication and air field specialist and helped to stand up in tripoli when we reopened it. i think it's important that they were very helpful with the embassy and at the end of the day, they were not focused on, nor did they pay attention to benghazi. since their primary mission was at the embassy, the embassy did acquire a lot of assets and that was the decision that they could not be extended for a third time. >> we will go to mr. engle of new york. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. adam secretary you and the state department have taken responsibility for what happened and convened and implementing the recommendations. as i said in my opening
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statement, we need to be clear eyed there is blame to share in congress. over the past two years alone, the administration's request, the diplomatic findings have been slashed and the currenta, pro appropriations bill for security and construction in e and maintenance by more than $260 million. i would like to ask do you think congress provided adequate resources for security in recent years. can you talk about security priorities you have note been able to complete due to an adequate budget. what advice would you give as it considers protecting the diplomats. what would happen worse and our diplomatic securities. has the state department not agreed on a budget.
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>> congressman, this is a bipartisan problem. since 2007, the department has consistently requested greater funding for embassy construction and diplomatic security, but with the exception of 2010, the congress has consistently enacted less than requested, most notably in 2012, the department received $340 million less than requested. close to 10% less. over the last two year, cuts to the security and maintenance budget was almost 10% of that as well. now the arb and i would refer to them because they had an independent view of this, they have recommended an increase in facilities funding to 2.2 billion to restore the construction levels called for in the 1998 report. i think it's also fair to make the point the arb made.
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shortfalls required the government to prioritize. they attempted to do that, but i think that there became a culture of reaction. they said husbanding resources and trying to figure out how to do as much with as little as possible. although our prioritization was imperfect, the funds provided by congress were inadequate. we have to work on both ends of that equation. what can you do? first of all, we came up with a request to the legislative and budget staffs for transfer authority language. namely taking money we already had in the budget and letting us move it quickly to do what the arb told us to do. more marine security guards and diplomatic guards. we were able to get that
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included in the senate version of the sandy supplemental that passed on december 28th. we were unable to get that included in the house version. this is not new money. first and foremost i would appreciate this committee working with the counterpart to give us this transfer authority. otherwise we are going to be behind the curve again. secondly i think it's important to change the laws about best value contracting versus lowest price technically qualified. by statute the state department guard contracts in dangerous places like libya and everywhere except iraq and afghanistan must be awarded using a lowest price technically acceptable selection process. we have requested a change in the legislation that would allow us to use some discretion to try
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to deal with the varieties of the local guard forces. we currently have it in afghanistan and pakistan, but it's going to expire. that's something else that i would ask the committee to look into. finally the point that the chairman made and you echoed, congressman, an authorization, i was on the armed serf service committee. it was a great organizing tool and made sure our defense needs were going to be met. i believe in the world in which are we are living, our diplomacy and development needs are important. we don't have the same focus and working with the senate foreign relations committee on authorization where you can look at everything and have subcommittees delving into the issues coming up with an
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authorization i think would be a great step forward. >> thank you, madam secretary. >> from florida. they retire from new york to florida. >> thank you for the positive working relationship that we had during the state department. why were you not interviewed and when the person at the top, the secretary of state was not part
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of the conversation when it was confirmed they were never questioned for this report and i think that's outrageous. the state department was clearly allowing the false narrative that officials were being held accountable for what went wrong and ignoring the threat. the state did nothing to correct the record. 130 days after the terrorist attack why did you not take steps publicly to correct this false narrative even up to and including today. even when they testified before us, they both said that steps were being taken to discipline
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those officials when in fact no significant action has or has occurred. there is a shuffling of the deck chairs. do you find it acceptable that state officials responsible for this lack of leadership and mismanagement for ignoring security requests during the benghazi attack and before and remain employed within the state department? also the accountability report cites several systemic failures at the department that cannot be overlooked or ignored. given that they were aware of the dangerously declining situation at ben gazay and pointed out by the chairman and attempt on the british embassador and attacks on western interest. why did they immediately not revamp the protocols prior to the september 11 attacks. the state failed to act
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preemptively because it ignored the threat or did it fail to act because it was unable to recognize this growing pattern of violence. either way, state did fail to act and these failures highlighted by the arb report serve as a blueprint for terrorists on where our weaknesses lie and where we are vulnerable. what actions have you taken to ensure that another embassy or consulate sound the alarm on threats as it happened in benghazi that those requests are not yet again ignored. as we examine the willingness and capacity of host countries, we must condition aid to the posts based on their cooperation with the united states. i hope we do that. regarding the request for more money, i think it's worth pointing out that officials have stated that budget constraints
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are not to blame for the loss of lives in benghazi. the state department is notorious for wasteful spending and continues to have mace placed funding priorities between the state department and treasury. the fisk american league year 2012 request for global climate initiative is $1.3 billion. now, what do we think or what do you think is a higher priority or a better use of taxpayer money? national security or global climate change? this money could have been used for embassy construction and hiring more diplomacy and security agents for providing our post and personnel overseas with adequate equipment and training. there is more i can't get to, but including the 64 specific
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action items you will be taking on the task force recommendation and we look forward to getting a detailed report here on explaining the justification and the itemized funding lay out, etc. thank you, madam secretary for the time. >> congress men, we will answer all of your questions. let me commend on two of them even though my time ran out. i was not asked to speak with the accountable review board. the specific issues they were looking at regarding the attack were handled by professionals in the department where they are focused. obviously if they thought i was relevant or had information i would have gladly discussed that with them at their request. secondly on the personnel, this is another area where i need your help. all four have been removed from the jobs. secondly they have been placed
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on administrative leave. thirdly ambassador pickering and mullins have highlighted the reason why this is so complicated. under statute and regulations, unsatisfactory leadership is not grounds for a breech of duty. fourth, i committed legislation to the committee and the senate. they will face the situation. i agree with you, there ought to be current ashes, but they were limited. >> madam secretary, i will be working to fix that problem. thank you for calling the important hearing. thank you for your most eloquent statement. the service to our nation has been exemplary and outstanding.
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any suggestion outside during today's hearing, i would consider unfair and unwarranted. we meet under difficult circumstances. i am sure that when you, secretary of state, stood at andrew's air force base the remains of christopher stevens, mr. shawn smith, mr. tyrone woods and mr. glen doherty, you must have had tremendous pain and suffering as we expressed in our proverb meaning the stones in the earth wet. madam secretary know that you were not alone. we went with you and the families of our fallen heroes. it is true that the benghazi attacks is the first time an american ambassador has been killed in the line of duty. it is also true that the world changed significantly since 1979
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and consequently the department of state is increasingly operating in high threat locations throughout the world. this is why the accountability review board observed that congress needs to make a serious and sustained commitment in supporting state department needs. the fiscal year budget, the house cut the administration request by $200 million. however had you been provided 2.6 billion in funding, i wonder if the congress did their part in fulfilling their responsibility in providing the stayed department with the necessary resources and funding to meet needs to provide security for the embassies and consulates throughout the world. i agree with arb's recommendations to restore the security cost sharing program which pulls money from different agencies to accelerate
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construction of new embassies and consulates. madam secretary, in honor of the lives of christopher stevens, shawn smith, tyrone woods and glen doherty, we need answers so that we can prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again. it is no good for any of us to use that tragedy for political gain. this was a terrorist attack first and foremost. we must not lose sight of this brutal fact. instead we must holding to n commitment to defeat those who will do us harm. madam secretary, i commend you in accordance with the diplom diplomatic security and anti-terrorism act of 1986. for accepting all 29 of the recommendations of the commission. for the past 20 years, you served our nation well. you have done all you could do to deliver freedom to future
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generations. i salute you ahead to 2016, wishing you must success and extending to you my highest regards. i do have one question or a couple if i have the time. madam secretary, to one of your quotes or statement here that this is why they went to benghazi. i want to get the sense that our commitment for the officers is second to none. even at the risk of their lives and wish my colleagues would understand that we have additional problems and funding problems, but the fact that when they did this, not only because of his love for the leaders of the people of libya, but because he was so proud to represent this great nation of ours. i would like to ask if you can elaborate what you meant by this. that ambassador stevens went to benghazi knowing the dangerous. knowing the dangers whether he
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was there still. could you please comment on that? >> congressman, i think it is the case that we have a foreign service that is composed of men and women who take on these responsibilities and they go in with eyes wide open and they learn languages and immerse themselves in cultures and go out to the foreign service institute and hone their skills. chris stevens was one of the very best. he started off in the peace corps in morocco and was a fluent speaker. had served with distinction throughout the arab world and when i asked if he would be interested in going to benghazi where we had nothing and he bunked up in a hotel and didn't have support to speak of, he was
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thrilled. he understood what it would mean. in the wake of this traj doe, this terrible terrorist attack, i think one of the most poignant events has been overlooked. that is what happened after the libyan people from benghazi to tripoli learned that chris stevens, someone whom they had got tone know and trusted and admired had murdered. they went out into the streets and protested themselves. tens of thousands and far more than the dozens of highly armed invaders of our compound and annex. they made it clear that that was not the kind of country they were trying to build. in some way chris's faith after his death was certainly validated. >> thank you. >> mr. smith of new jersey. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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we deeply mourn the tragic loss of four brave americans, including our distinguished ambassador, christopher stevens. we seem to be relearning the same lessons again and again and again. madam secretary, after the august bombings in kenya and tanzania, admiral kraus sat where you sit 12 years ago and told the subcommittee that i chaired at the time that in our conversation to the bombings, thea, rb boards were shocked how similar the lessons learned were to those drawn by the commission some 14 years before that. in other words, in 1985. in direct response, i offered a law made out of the formulations act. we had the title of construction in counter terrorism of security and residences to improve the threat assessments and facilities and action plan and
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the security thread list and distances that are set back, for example. security training and rapid response procedures and storage or emergency equipment like fire suppress ant capabilities and increased anti-terrorism in africa. before 1998, there were 1,000 security specialists and there over 3100. i agree we need more, but how present day security personnel and assets are deployed and above all a leadership issue. clearly we have and had the lip do mattic security assets that could have been deployed to benghazi. when it comes to what you knew, madam secretary and what requests were made of you and the department to beef up security in benghazi, there disturbing parallels to kenya and tanzania. prior to est africa, bombings and presidents bush nell
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repeated add for more upgrades sdpt ambassador's request was rejected and the loss of was horrific. numerous press reports to libya. chris stevens and his team made repeated requests for security assistance. my questions are these. one, you define taking responsibility for benghazi in your testimony a few moments ago in terms and only in terms of during and after the terrorist attacks. what about before the attack on september 11, 2012. what did you personally in your staff, when did you become aware of ambassador stevens and his team's request for security upgrades. what exactly did you do in response? you were very close to him. did he ask you personally at any time when you say a moment ago that perhaps didn't think you
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were relevant. you are the leader. you are on top of it all. i would join with my colleague and say you should have been interviewed and important questions asked. were you personally in any way at fault? >> first, congressman, i am well aware of the work that you did after the 1998 bombings and i think that work and the legislation that you championed has been important in protecting our people around the world. we have been reviewing and implementing the recommendations of all the former arbs and the 18 previous arbs resulted in 164 recommendations and we have been clear that the majority have been implemented. a handful were by their nature

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